Bromsgove-based Roger Jones, composer of over 20 Christian musicals, author and speaker, has become the recipient of The Thomas Cranmer Award for Worship in recognition of over 40 years working as a composer, evangelist, worship leader and speaker. Roger is based at from Lickey Parish Church and formerly Christ Church Ward End.
Having studied music at the Birmingham School of Music (now Birmingham Conservatoire), Roger went on to become Head of Music at Aston Manor School in inner-city Birmingham. After a few years Roger felt the need to write music for his school choir that worked well in terms of age and ability, and he began with an Easter musical, ‘Jerusalem Joy’. This musical was featured on BBC Songs of Praise in the mid-1970s and has since been performed around the world. Roger continued to write musicals, and in 1984 left teaching to become full-time director of Christian Music Ministries. Some of his best-known works include ‘Saints Alive’, ‘While Shepherds Watched’ and ‘From Pharaoh to Freedom’. Roger says,
“I was utterly speechless when I was told of the award. It is an incredible honour. Over the years it has been a joy to write music for the ordinary folk in the pew – music they can use to share the wonderful story of Jesus with their friends and neighbours. I also feel it is important to say that this award is also for the team around me; family, friends and colleagues who have been tireless in their support and love. It was a delight to be able to take my wife Mary and my son Tim, now a partner in the ministry, to London to receive the award.”
The Cranmer Award for Worship was first awarded by Archbishop Justin Welby in March 2016. It is named after Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1533 to 1555, who wrote the Book of Common Prayer. It recognises outstanding contributions to all aspects of worship in the Church, including both words and music. The 2019 Awards were presented by Archbishop Justin Welby on Thursday 4th April at Lambeth Palace. Previous award winners include Matt Redman, Stuart Townend and Tim Hughes.